Bringing art closer to the community through Art x Fashion at the 42nd UOB Painting of the Year competition launch

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    03 May 2023

    UOB’s flagship art competition expands to the fifth country, Vietnam, this year.

    Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament and Advisor to the National Council of Social Service, and Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, with UOB Painting of the Year artists and JOURNEY artists at the 42nd UOB Painting of the Year launch event


    Singapore, 3 May 2023 – Art meets Fashion with a collection of 36 limited edition art wearables introduced at a fashion showcase for charity sale as UOB officially launched the 42nd edition of its flagship UOB Painting of the Year competition at National Gallery Singapore this morning.


    Doing right by the community through art for good

    The UOB Painting of the Year Art x Fashion showcase featured wearables co-designed by 10 artists, comprising UOB Painting of the Year artists and artists with disabilities from JOURNEY by TOUCH Community Services. In collaboration with local fashion label ANS.EIN, the unique pieces are a culmination of a three-month partnership where UOB Painting of the Year artists were paired with artists with disabilities to paint their passion on canvas, and transforming them into wearable art for charity sale1 . Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament and Advisor to the National Council of Social Service, was the Guest-of-Honour at the event.


    Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, said, “Appreciating and creating art can help uplift spirits and connect communities. Our showcase this year illustrates how art can be present in our everyday lives, including in fashion. I am heartened to see that our UOB Painting of the Year artists are bringing their talents into the community to collaborate with artists with disabilities from TOUCH Community Services, bringing the joy of art to a wider audience. In line with our Purpose to build the future of ASEAN, UOB is pleased to expand our flagship competition to Vietnam this year for many more to uncover their passion for art.”


    Mr Tan Chuan-Jin said, “The partnership between the public and private sectors is vital in uplifting different communities. As we strive towards nurturing a more caring and inclusive Singapore, I am encouraged to see UOB, the UOB Painting of the Year artists and TOUCH Community Services, coming together to raise funds and awareness for the differently-abled community, and devoting their time and resources to equip JOURNEY’s artists with useful art skills that they can use to fuel their passion for art.”


    In line with the opening of this year’s UOB Painting of the Year competition, all showcased art wearables will be on sale from 31 May via JOURNEY’s website ( All proceeds will go to TOUCH Community Services to support JOURNEY’s work in Art and Education for special needs groups.


    Mr James Tan, Chief Executive Officer of TOUCH Community Services said, “Art is a universal language through which humanity speaks. We are honoured to be working alongside UOB and ANS.EIN to launch this fashion-for-a-cause initiative. We hope this will shed light on the creative talents of our special needs artists under the JOURNEY brand, who co-created the artworks with given themes such as ‘Oriental’ and ‘Floral’. We are heartened by the support of our collaborative partners towards this cause, and look forward to seeing these artworks donned by members of the community.”


    Programme identity design for the 42nd UOB Painting of the Year competition


    Programme identity design for 42nd UOB Painting of the Year competition

    The programme identity design for the 2023 UOB Painting of the Year competition was unveiled by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin and Mr Wee Ee Cheong at the launch event. Inspired by the 2022 UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year winning artwork, Dystopia by Thai artist Chomrawi Suksom, the evolving sphere symbolises our world in a constant state of change and renewal, represented by different cultures and identities. This is aligned with the Bank’s long-term commitment to constantly evolve and stay relevant, and to do right by the community. In line with this, UOB’s flagship competition will expand its reach and launch in Vietnam this year.


    Call for entries and the enhanced prize awards for Emerging Artist Category

    As the leading patron for the arts in Asia, the UOB Painting of the Year competition has uncovered more than 1,000 established and aspiring artists across the region over the last four decades. The 42nd UOB Painting of the Year competition is open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents, who can submit their entries digitally at Submissions are open from 3 May 2023 to 31 July 2023.


    The five country winners from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam will compete for the coveted UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year award, with a prize award of S$13,000 on top of their country award prize, and a chance for a residency programme at the renowned Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan. In addition, to further support the pursuit of art by aspiring artists in the region, UOB has raised the prize money for the Emerging Artist Category, with the Most Promising Artist of the Year winner receiving S$5,000, up from previous years2.


    The Singapore winners and the winner of the prestigious regional award, the UOB Southeast Asian Painting of the Year will be announced at an awards ceremony at Victoria Theatre on 8 November 2023.


    Three-time award winner Lester Lee presents solo exhibition at UOB Art Gallery

    As part of the series of activities lined up for the 42nd UOB Painting of the Year Call-for-entries campaign, the solo exhibition titled Randomness by Lester Lee, 41st UOB Painting of the Year (Singapore) top winner, will be launching on Friday, 12 May 2023 at the UOB Art Gallery, located at the ground floor of UOB Plaza 1. Through this exhibition, Lester presents his latest body of work that expresses his experiential discovery process to find new directions and to make a statement.


    Established in 1982, the UOB Painting of the Year competition is the longest-running annual art competition in Singapore and one of the most prestigious in Southeast Asia. Past winners include Singapore Cultural Medallion winners Mr Goh Beng Kwan, Mr Anthony Poon and Mr Chua Ek Kay, as well as 2016 Benesse Prize winner, Thai artist Ms Pannaphan Yodmanee.


    1 Details of participating artists can be found in Appendix A.

    2 More details can be found at and in Appendix B.



    About UOB
    UOB is a leading bank in Asia. Operating through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, UOB has a global network of around 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. Today, UOB is rated among the world’s top banks: Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA- by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.


    For nearly nine decades, UOB has adopted a customer-centric approach to create long-term value by staying relevant through its enterprising spirit and doing right by its customers. UOB is focused on building the future of ASEAN – for the people and businesses within, and connecting with, ASEAN.


    The Bank connects businesses to opportunities in the region with its unparalleled regional footprint and leverages data and insights to innovate and create personalised banking experiences and solutions catering to each customer’s unique needs and evolving preferences. UOB is also committed to forging a sustainable future through working with its stakeholders to create positive environmental impact, fostering social inclusiveness and pursuing economic progress. UOB believes in being a responsible financial services provider and is steadfast in its support of art, social development of children and education, doing right by its communities and stakeholders.


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